Is a Co-working space a good fit for you?
This is a question every freelancer has asked himself at some point. If you crave office interaction and a sense of belonging, then you should consider it. You also need to consider the price and the commute time.
If you have managed to go into freelance full-time then you’ve probably started feeling like it’s a bit difficult to keep yourself focused at all times. There are many aspects freelancers have to keep in mind, like buying their own healthcare insurance; but nothing is as important as figuring out if you need a co-working space. Here are some pros and cons for you to consider before making a decision.
Bring business cards! Everyone there is just like you or they are looking for people like you while developing their entrepreneurial projects. You have common goals and interests, and your network will be expanded.
Let’s say you are a content writer and the person next to you just so happens to be a graphic designer. You can start a partnerships and share projects. If the someone commissions your content but does not have a graphic designer, you can recommend the person in your group and attest to the quality of their work. In another example, we can take a web designer who has interacted with an editor. You won’t have to outsource your business – just walk to his desk and it’s done.
If you have developed your freelance business to a point where meeting the clients is essential and can help you close deals, a co-working space will be a mandatory investment. You will make a good impression with a professional meeting space. Most co-working spaces are styled according to the work environment and ooze professional ambiance. Let’s face it, if you want your business to grow you will have to stop meeting potential clients in your living room or local coffee shop.
If you have done freelancing you know just how tedious and soul consuming this issue can be. There’s just no way around it. Sometimes everything flows and sometimes you draw blanks. This has to do with routine and with how easy it is to break your routine because no one is watching. We’ve all decided to check that one Instagram DM and ended up browsing to the bottom of the feed.
If you had a nerve-wrecking task and you are done with it by the middle of the workday, a nap sounds just about perfect. What this does is ruin your routine. Every day after that will become harder and harder to schedule properly. In a co-working space this wouldn’t be possible. So, you save yourself by keeping away from temptations and distractions. Getting dressed and leaving the house at the same time that everyone else is heading to their jobs is also something that will keep you grounded.
If you are surrounded by people who are freelancing in your field the exchange of ideas and advice will flow and you will see your work improve exponentially.
If something happens to your laptop at home there isn’t much you can do about it. If a program is not running you will have to spend time to figure out what is causing the issue or get professional help. If you are lucky enough to share space with technical people then getting assistance with your issue couldn’t be easier.
This one is tricky because you are essentially paying for a service that in theory you don’t need. After all, it’s free to work from home. You can look at a subscription to a co-working space as basically a second rent. The desk prices are sometimes steep depending on location and preference. (You also need to factor in the price of coffee and food since you won’t be at home.) Given the investment cost this might be a bad idea if you are just starting out or don’t have many clients.
Dedicated Desk Availability
No two co-working spaces are identical. One thing that is constant is the fact that they charge different prices for different areas and for dedicated desks. You can choose to not pay for a dedicated desk and hope that you will find a proper desk every day. If you do not purchase a dedicated desk, you will have to move all your materials every day and you won’t know where you will be seated. Most co-working spaces are crowded, so it’s probably best to invest in a dedicated desk.
Many people have an issue with commuting. The fact that you are spending time waiting around and not being productive is hard to digest. You could easily convince yourself that it’s much wiser to stay home and get more done in the time you would spend commuting. There probably isn’t a co-working space right down the street, so you will have to allow time for a commute. You will also need to take into consideration the expense of the commute, no matter what method of transportation you use. Your travel costs will not be covered by an employer or be tax deductible.
Corporate Trends and Conclusion:
In recent years many more corporations have decided that the best option for their employees is a co-working space. Some corporate employers put 30% of their employees in co-working spaces. Even the largest of corporate businesses adhere to such standards: Facebook, Adidas, Microsoft and that’s just naming a few. It looks like the corporations have decided that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Co-working spaces can spark creativity and encourage fresh ideas – all at a lower cost.
There are tons of co-working spaces you can choose from. It all boils down to your personal preferences. If you are capable of performing as a freelancer from home and your surroundings enable you to be creative, then there is no reason to seek out a co-working space. However, the boom that came for co-working places is derived from how convenient they are. We can only expect their popularity to grow and one day maybe even replace the conventional office we are all familiar with.
So, what do you think? Have you had any experience with co-working spaces? Share your point of view and let’s pass all that information to readers who are still considering it. The comment section is open to anyone who wants to contribute and we encourage you to do so.